Garland still owes America a full explanation

So we know a bit more about the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago, but not enough to tell us anything.

Agents hauled off some 20 boxes, including four sets of top secret documents, three of secret docs and three “confidential” sets. But we have no idea how much of it really deserved classification, and Trump’s camp claims he’d declassified all of it (as was in his power as president) before having it removed from the White House.

The warrant allowed a search of all areas used by or available to ex-President Donald Trump and his staff “in which boxes or documents could be stored” by Aug. 19, and seizure of “all physical documents and records constituting evidence, contraband, fruits of crime, or other items illegally possessed” in violation of U.S. Code, including documents with classification markings and presidential records created between Jan. 20, 2017, and Jan. 20, 2021.

That covers everything the FBI actually did, including the safe-cracking and the search of Melania’s closet. But it doesn’t tell us if the warrant was truly justified: We’d at least need to see the application for the warrant to have an idea of that.  

What, exactly, moved Attorney General Merrick Garland to depart from the “standard practice to seek less intrusive means as an alternative to a search and to narrowly scope any search that is undertaken”?

FBI agents reportedly took 20 boxes of documents from Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate.
FBI agents took over a dozen boxes of documents from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.
AP Photo/Steve Helber

And was the judge who granted the warrant aware that Trump had cooperated fully with a prior subpoena for presidential docs?

Some media report that the feds were tipped that some sort of nuclear info was still at the Trump residence; maybe that will wind up making this understandable — but hearsay from anonymous sources is pretty worthless. In short, no actual disclosure so far remotely justifies the raid.

Garland still owes the public an explanation.

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